Having flat feet, or fallen arches has often been seen as an excuse for not running. This is because it can cause over pronation which is where you push off from the ground using your toes rather than off the balls of your feet. This means that none of the shock of hitting the ground is absorbed by your feet and can travel up your leg – causing shin splints.
Interestingly there seems to be quite a bit of scientific support for the fact that flat feet do NOT cause any more injuries than regular feet, a study by the Royal Australian Air Force found that flat footed trainees reported no more pain or injury than anyone else .
But just because you might not be any more likely to be injured than non-flat footed people, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from wearing shoes designed to help.
How to Discover if You Have Flat Feet
The easiest way to find out whether you have flat feet is to perform a quick test using water and a flat surface such as concrete. Stand in some water and then step onto the concrete, try not to get water everywhere ideally you want to be able to see your footprint clearly. Step away and take a look at the wet footprint.
If you have regular feet then you should see an outline of the toes, the balls of your feet, and the heel with a small line connecting them. The footprint should remind you of a question mark. If you have flat feet then you should see a huge outline of a foot which is evenly covered in water. That’s because a flat footed person will have the whole surface area of their foot in contact with the floor when standing upright.
Buying the Correct Shoes for Flat Feet
When looking for shoes for flat feet you want to find a pair that have a strong medial support, the medial part of your shoe is on the inside of your foot. If you stood with your feet together, your medial sides would be touching. The reason is that strong medial support can prevent over pronation and will change your running style slightly.
In this article we are going to be looking at some of the running shoes that support flat footed runners that are available from Nike. If you’re picturing some form of orthopaedic shoes from the 1950s then you’re going to be very pleasantly surprised!
|Nike Zoom Structure 20||4/5||3/5||4/5||11/15|
|Nike LunarGlide 7||5/5||4/5||5/5||14/15|
|Nike Free RN||2/5||4/5||5/5||11/15|
|Nike Air Zoom Odyssey 2||3/5||3/5||4/5||10/15|
|Nike Men's Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoe||4/5||4/5||5/5||13/15|
|Nike Men's Air Vapormax Flyknit 3 Running Shoe||4/5||4/5||5/5||13/15|
Nike Running Shoes For Flat Feet #1: Nike Zoom Structure 20
When a shoe has “structure” in its name you know it’s going to be effective but potentially boring. Luckily the Nike Zoom Structure 20 is a nice looking shoe. The shoe has two forms of foam mixed together and used in the sole, with the outside being quite light and soft while the medial side is more rigid. Great shoes for running in, but also a great idea for wearing casually or on the way in to work.
Nike Running Shoes For Flat Feet #2: Nike LunarGlide 7
When looking at Nike shoes that are useful for flat footed runners, it is hard to look past the LunarGlide series. Out of all of them the LunaGlide 7 seems the most effective. It’s built around being stable and contains Lunarlon foam cushioning to keep it comfortable.
The shoe also uses motion control as a way to prevent you from over pronating whilst running, the motion control is nothing fancy the shoe is designed to help you move from heel to toe in a smooth fashion by gently rocking your foot.
Nike Running Shoes For Flat Feet #3: Nike Free RN
Studies have shown that children who have flat feet can benefit from walking barefoot more, this is because walking barefoot is a lot more natural and can help improve your foots flexibility. Sadly, it is just not practical for people to go around running barefoot on modern pavements or in bad weather. So the next best thing is to find a pair of running shoes that allows you maximum flexibility.
The Nike Free RN shoe is probably the most flexible running shoe around and was designed to mimic the specific barefoot running technique. Now these shoes will NOT correct an over pronation, nor are they particularly durable (might not be suited to marathon racing). But if you are looking for a shoe that can help you to run better with flat feet then these shoes could be the ones for you.
These shoes are supposed to imitate barefoot running and that’s exactly what they will do, there isn’t much support or comfort but then there isn’t supposed to be. Imagine running with no shoes on, but a less painful and less dangerous (no danger in treading on needles or dog mess)
Nike Running Shoes For Flat Feet #4: Nike Air Zoom Odyssey 2
The Nike Air Zoom Odyssey 2 is a lightweight stability shoe that also helps to correct over pronation, these are great for flat footed runners who are looking to run fast. There’s a lot of cushioning around the front of the shoe and at the heel (two of the biggest pressure points when running).
The shoes have a strong medial support, which as we’ve mentioned before is very important for flat footed runners as it keeps them from over pronating. People with a regular arch may find this feature a bit restrictive, and would probably benefit from a different running shoe.
Nike Running Shoes For Flat Feet #5: Nike Men’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoe
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is a seriously good quality running shoe, it also happens to be excellent for flat feet. It may not offer the same stability as the Nike Zoom Structure, but it more than makes up for it when it comes to running performance. If you have flat feet and want a superior running experience, then these are the shoes for you. The cushioning is exquisite, using Cushlon ST Foam. This helps you feel more comfortable while you run, but also provides responsive cushioning.
The shoes were actually designed with the help of elite runners, which shows you just how good they really are.
Nike Running Shoes For Flat Feet #6: Nike Men’s Air Vapormax Flyknit 3 Running Shoe
The Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit 3 running shoes are some of the most comfortable shoes you will ever wear. The vapormax air cushioning system runs the entire length of the shoes, making walking and running a breeze! The flyknit upper is extremely breathable, and will really help your feet keep cool and dry during a run.
The incredible comfort and stability that these shoes offer will help flat-footed runners and walkers to enjoy their exercise, by removing the joint pain and aching feet that are common issues.
The colour scheme is a little hit and miss, some will love the aesthetics of the shoe, while others may dislike it. At the end of the day, these shoes are about comfort, stability, and running performance, with aesthetics a secondary issue.
Here is a list of the best Nike running shoes for flat feet. All of the shoes on this list will help you to run better, feel more comfort, and improve the support you require. The Nike Zoom Structure is probably the best for stability, while the Vapormax Flyknit 3 is the best for comfort. The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus is definitely the best for running performance.
Just remember, working on your running technique is just as important (if not more) as finding the right running shoes.